How to manage older blog posts

I’ve been running this blog since 2010, which for blogging is a pretty long time. Along with the usual site maintenance needs, there’s also the need to address how to handle older, and possibly dated, blog posts.

The following infographic lists some ways to handle updating older material. I’ll analyze each point afterwards.

Infographic
Infographic by SEMbyotic

Old but still relevant content

I do link to older blog posts, as suggested. It’s a way of keeping them visible, plus using them as relevant reference links. It also means not having to repeat myself on certain topics. If I’ve written before about, say, the Marvel comics superhero Black Panther, I don’t need to spend time/space re-explaining my thoughts.

One thing I’ve not done is turn my blog posts into videos, audio, or infographics, beyond a few YouTube experiments with (basically) slideshows set to music. I’m not sure how much support or attention there’d be for such.

Relevant content but poor performance

Adding more content to lengthen posts is something I’ve done for some older posts. However, I aim for posts being at least 300 words long, not 500.

I’ve updated evergreen posts as needed with new information, as well as improved their SEO standards (using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress greatly helps).

Another task (unmentioned in the infographic) is going through some older posts to make sure they don’t have typos and grammatical errors. I also try to update terms that in retrospect seem dated, not descriptive enough, or possibly problematic. The AP Stylebook (which I can access digitally for free via my local public library) is a big help, along with some other sources (such as GLAAD’s media guide for LGBTQ-related terminology).

Also unmentioned in the infographic is updating featured images. Some older posts of mine still use images that’re too small, improperly proportioned/sized, and/or lack creator credits (for comic panels/artwork). I’m going through older posts to update them when possible, but it’s admittedly a slow process.

Outdated and irrelevant content

If a blog post is completely irrelevant, and isn’t getting much traffic, I’ll consider deleting it outright.

It’s usually my oldest blog posts subject to this, but this might come up in latter-day posts, too. Reasons include:

  • Being too off-topic.
  • Discussing an extremely outdated or irrelevant topic or news story for which the news links are long dead.
  • The tone feels too critical (or my opinion’s changed).
  • Newer material discusses the same ideas.

And so forth.

Ideally, I’ll set up a redirect to a more relevant post, as the infographic recommends. That way, any traffic it might still get will go to a more relevant post, or one as close as possible.

If you’re a blogger, how do you handle older posts on your blog?

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2 comments

  1. I love having an archive of my old posts. I don’t delete any of them. However, sometimes I go back and fix some grammar issues. I started blogging in 2001, when lower case was all the rage. So many of my blog posts have capitalization issues.

    And they also suffer from extremely low-resolution images. In some cases, the images are a mere 75×75 pixels!

    It’s a slow cause changing them out. Initially, I was using a WordPress plugin “Years Ago Today” that emails me links to all my blog posts from that particular day. e.g. I would go to all my blog posts made on May 4th through the years, and give them an edit.

    1. Some of the posts I deleted stemmed from an attempt to integrate an older 2000s-era blog into the current one, with (ultimately) mixed results.

      Finding better graphics for some older posts is an ongoing project for me, too… but yes, 75 x 75 pictures could stand replacing. Good luck!

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